In fact the prosperity for which Bengal was renowned was being gradually destroyed. Modern education began in India under British rule. This injured the Indian merchants as they had to pay taxes from which the foreigners got complete exemption. Other ports in Bengal included the Port of Narayanganj, the Port of Chittagong and the Port of Dhaka. Iftekhar Iqbal (2010) The Bengal Delta: Ecology, State and Social Change, 1840–1943, Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, Pages: 288. The Marwaris migrated from Rajasthan in western India. They created many temples and works of art as well as supported the important ancient higher-learning institutions of Nalanda and Vikramashila. The Pala period is regarded as one of Bengal's golden ages. On Mir Jafar’s death, they placed his second son Nizam-ud-Daulah on the throne and as a reward to themselves made him sign a new treaty on 20 February 1765. Ancient Bengal was often divided between various kingdoms. The Prime Minister of Bengal was a member of the assembly. At times, the region was unified into a single realm; while it was also ruled by pan-Indian empires. Two universities were established in Bengal during British rule, including the University of Calcutta and the University of Dacca. The dynasty was founded by Alivardi Khan. The All India Muslim League was created during a conference on liberal education hosted by the Nawab of Dhaka in Eastern Bengal and Assam. [43] The peace and prosperity created under leadership of Guptas enabled the pursuit of scientific and artistic endeavours in the empire. Dharmapala extended the empire into the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent. It was now determined to remain in Bengal even against the wishes of the Nawab and to trade there on its own terms. Chief among these were Mir Jafar, the Mir Bakshi, Manick Chand, the Officer-in-Charge of Calcutta, Amichand, a rich merchant, Jagat Seth, the biggest banker of Bengal, and Khadim Khan, who commanded a large number of the Nawab’s troops. M. Mukerjee, Churchill’s Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India during World War II, India Penguin, 2018. Units of the United States Armed Forces were stationed in Chittagong Airfield during the Burma Campaign 1944-1945. Vijaya Sena, second ruler of the dynasty, defeated the last Pala emperor, Madanapala, and established his reign formally. According to the Mahabharata, the Puranas and the Harivamsha, Vanga was one of the adopted sons of King Vali who founded the Vanga Kingdom. The first traces of West Bengal's history are recorded to belong to the Vedic era when the state was inhabited by myriads of people of varying origin and ethnicity. One subedar was Prince Shah Shuja, who was the son of Emperor Shah Jahan. Scarcely five years into the British East India Company's rule, the catastrophic Bengal famine of 1770, one of the greatest famines of history occurred. The Gangaridai army was stated to have a war elephant cavalry of 6000 elephants. The area's early history featured a succession of Indian empires, internal squabbling, and a tussle between Hinduism and Buddhism for dominance. An independent Bengal Sultanate was formed in 1352 and ruled the region for two centuries, during which a distinct form of Islam based on Sufism and the Bengali language emerged and the region was known as a major trading nation in the world. According to him, "[T]he original name of Bengal was Bung, and the suffix "al" came to be added to it from the fact that the ancient rajahs of this land raised mounds of earth 10 feet high and 20 in breadth in lowlands at the foot of the hills which were called "al". They succeeded in bringing Bengal under one ruler during the 12th century. The earliest reference to "Vangala" (Bôngal) has been traced in the Nesari plates (805 CE) of Rashtrakuta Govinda III which speak of Dharmapala as the king of Vangala. East Bengal was renamed East Pakistan, and later became the independent nation of Bangladesh after the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971. The Nawab was forced to flee and was captured and put to death by Mir Jafar’s son Miran. Importance of merchant and financial classes declined. The French built a garden in Tejgaon. The promotion of Bengali literature under the dynasty led to Bengali replacing the strong influence of Sanskrit in the region. [4] The region was part of several ancient pan-Indian empires, including the Mauryans and Guptas. The Prime Minister of Bengal, supported by Hindu and Muslim politicians, proposed a United Bengal as a sovereign state. However, Bengalis were also divided by religion due to the political situation in the rest of India. The death of Devapala in 850 ended the period of ascendancy of the Pala dynasty and several independent dynasties and kingdoms emerged during this time. Nationalism emerged in 19th-century British India both in emulation of and as a reaction against the consolidation of British rule and the spread of Western civilization. Calcutta became a profitable base. No ruler could possibly accept this position. In the spring of 1857 a number of units of the Bengal Army, one of three native armies in the employ of the East India Company, rebelled against British rule. Here they waited for aid from Madras and, in meantime, organised a web of intrigue and treachery with the leading men of the Nawab’s court. Matters came to a head in 1756 when the young and quick ­tempered Siraj-ud-Daulah succeeded his grandfather, Alivardi Khan. The gradual decline of the Mughal Empire led to quasi-independent states under the Nawabs of Bengal, subsequent to the Maratha invasions of Bengal, and finally the conquest by the British East India Company. These kingdoms also helped introduce new music, painting, dancing and sculpture into Bengali art-forms as well as many temples were constructed during this period. Subedars were the Mughal viceroys in Bengal. The Koch Bihar Kingdom in the northern Bengal, flourished during the period of 16th and the 17th centuries as well as weathered the Mughals and survived till the advent of the British. [19][20] Other accounts speculate that the name is derived from Venga (Bôngo), which came from the Austric word "Bonga" meaning the Sun-god. Siraj rightly interpreted this action as an attack upon his sovereignty. The British took control of the region from the late 18th century. The reign of Ashoka ushered an era of social harmony, religious transformation, and expansion of the sciences and of knowledge. The dynasty is regarded by several historians as a golden age in which a syncretic Bengali culture evolved including elements of Muslim and Hindu traditions. The British government introduced the railway to Bengal in 1854. Bengal played a major role in the Indian independence movement (including the Pakistan movement), in which revolutionary groups such as Anushilan Samiti and Jugantar were dominant. The earlier British struggle with the French in south India had been but a dress rehearsal. 5. These states includes the principalities of Maharaja Pratap Aditya of Jessore, Raja Sitaram Ray of Burdwan, Raja Krishnachandra Roy of Nadia Raj and Kingdom of Mallabhum. The Bengali calendar traces its origin to Shashanka's reign. According to the Indian epic Mahabharata, the Vanga Kingdom was located in Bengal. He, therefore, tried to prevent public disorder, to increase his income by removing corruption from revenue administration, and to raise a modern and disciplined army along European lines. [12] The capital Dhaka had a population exceeding a million people, and with an estimated 80,000 skilled textile weavers. (10 Vols. Although protest had been largely Hindu-led, such eminent leaders of the Indian nationalist movement at Nazrul Islam and Rabindranath Tagore stressed Hindu-Muslim unity. He was also the head of state of a parallel regime named 'The Provisional Government of Free India' or Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind, that was recognised and supported by the Axis powers. 237–240, World History in Context. [75], During their occupation, the Marathas perpetrated a massacre against the local population,[76] killing close to 400,000 people in western Bengal and Bihar. This was a mistake for he had underestimated the strength of his enemy. British Bengal - 1757-1947 The province of Bengal was one of the most valuable acquisitions that was ever made by any nation. The Palas also had extensive trade as well as influence in Southeast Asia. [39] The Mauryans built the Grand Trunk Road, one of Asia's oldest and longest major roads connecting the Indian subcontinent with Central Asia. In addition to this, the Company and its servants forced the Indian officials and zamindars to give them presents and bribes. The Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta visited Sonargaon during the reign of Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah. However, Mahipala rejuvenated the reign of the Palas. Disclaimer Copyright, History Discussion - Discuss Anything About History, Wars under British Rule in India | Indian History, Growth of East India’s Company Trade | Indian History, British Relations with India and Subjugation of the Principal Indian Powers | 18th Century, The British Ascendancy in Bengal: An Overview, Forts in India: 5 Magnificent Ancient Forts in India, Mosques in India: 15 Ancient Mosques in India. The Palas were responsible for the introduction of Mahayana Buddhism in Tibet, Bhutan and Burma. The English refused to comply as they felt strong after their victory over the French in south India. Control over Bengal played a decisive role in the Anglo-French struggle. [87] Bengal hosted the most advanced cultural centers in British India. All these three were independent administrative units. The Roman Catholic Church was established in Bengal by the Portuguese in Chittagong, when the first Vicar Apostolic was appointed in the port city. The settlement was established after the Bengal Sultanate granted permission to embassies from Portuguese India for the creation of a trading post. [49] The last ruler of the Chandra Dynasty, Govindachandra, was defeated by the south Indian Emperor Rajendra Chola I of the maritime Chola dynasty in the 11th century. Siraj-ud-Daulah had the statesmanship to see the long-term implications of the English designs. In all, the English lost 29 men while the Nawab lost nearly 500. Overseas, Europeans depended on Bengali products such as cotton textiles, silks and opium; Bengal accounted for 40% of Dutch imports from Asia, for example, including more than 50% of textiles and around 80% of silks. ", Momtazur Rahman Tarafdar, "Itihas O Aitihasik", Bangla Academy Dhaka, 1995, Encyclopaedia of North-East India by T. Raatan p.143, Nadia' Jillar Purakirti by Archaeological Survey of India, West Bengal, 1975, Imperial Gazetteer of India, New Edition (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1908–1931), Vol. It firmly established the British as masters of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa and placed Awadh at their mercy. The Chandra kingdom covered the Harikela region, which was known as the Kingdom of Ruhmi to Arab traders. After the Great Famine of 1769-70, the Fakir Sanyasl Movement caused serious disruption to British rule, as did the forces of Titu Meer and the Farizi Movement, led by Haji Shariatullah.. The Governor of Bengal was concurrently the Governor-General of India for many years. M. Mufakharul Islam (2007), Bengal Agriculture 1920–1946: A Quantitative Study, Cambridge South Asian Studies, Cambridge University Press, Pages: 300. Major parties in the assembly included the All India Muslim League, the Farmers and Tenants Party, the Indian National Congress, the Swaraj Party and the Hindu Mahasabha. It was also understood that British merchants and officials would no longer be asked to pay any taxes on their private trade. During this period, the port of Chittagong developed banking and shipping industries. He was an able, efficient, and strong ruler, determined to free himself from foreign control. Dharmapala and Devapala were two great patrons of Buddhism, secular education and culture. Ancient Bengal was the site of several major Janapadas (kingdoms), while the earliest cities date back to the Vedic period. Vanga was described as a thassalocracy with colonies in Southeast Asia. However, the economy of Bengal became more dependent on agriculture. ", "East–West Orientation of Historical Empires", "Mahasthan Brahmi Inscription – Banglapedia", "History revisited: How Tughlaq's currency change led to chaos in 14th century India", "Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal – Google Books", "Reimagining the Colonial Bengal Presidency Template (Part I) | Daily sun", Revolutionary movement for Indian independence, List of West Bengal districts ranked by literacy rate,, Articles containing Bengali-language text, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Location unclear; probable location around northern West Bengal and eastern, Location unclear; probable location in West Bengal of India, Abdul Momin Chowdhury (1967) Dynastic History of Bengal, c. 750–1200 A.D, Dacca: The Asiatic Society of Pakistan, 1967, Pages: 310, ASIN: B0006FFATA. This was one of the most decisive battles of Indian history for it demonstrated the superiority of English arms over the combined army of two of the major Indian powers. Although some opponents to partition gave it a religious aspect by identifying closely with Kali, others stressed the unity of the Bengali nation, not religion. These years have been described by a recent British historian, Percival Spear, as “the period of open and unashamed plunder”. Bengali ports were often free trade ports which welcomed ships from across the world. Famine stricken people during the famine of 1876-78. British Rule In India MCQ Questions and answers with easy explanations. The Indian Rebellion of 1857 replaced rule by the Company with the direct control of Bengal by the British Crown. He realised that a full treasury and an efficient army were essential to maintain his independence. The French also had a large presence in Dhaka, where a neighbourhood called Farashganj developed in the old city. Seats were reserved for different religious, social and professional communities. Moreover, the two signed an alliance by which the Company promised to support the Nawab against an outside attack provided he paid for the services of the troops sent to his aid. Jadu took the title of Jalaluddin Muhammad Shah. The Baro-Bhuyans defeated the Mughal navy during several engagements in Bengal's rivers. Partition of Bengal: The greatest weapon of imperia­lism is creation of dissension among the subjects, development of mutual suspicion and mistrust and thereby preventing unity among them to perpetuate rule. [34], In the Greco-Roman world, accounts of the Gangaridai Kingdom are considered by historians to have referred to Bengal. The breaking point came when, without taking the Nawab’s permission, the Company began to fortify Calcutta in expectation of the coming struggle with the French, who were stationed at this time at Chandernagore. In other words, Siraj was willing to let the Europeans remain as merchants but not as masters. In Ptolemy's world map, the emporium of Sounagoura (Sonargaon) was located in Bengal. However, the Indian National Congress and the Hindu Mahasabha forced the British viceroy Earl Mountbatten to partition Bengal along religious lines. This website includes study notes, research papers, essays, articles and other allied information submitted by visitors like YOU. Some of these leaders, such as Netaji, did not subscribe to the view that non-violent civil disobedience was the only way to achieve Indian Independence, and allied with Japan to fight against the British. He demanded of the English that they should trade on the same basis as in the times of Murshid Quli Khan. The Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers act as a geographic marker of the region, but also connects the region to the broader Indian subcontinent. Under the Mughal Empire, Bengal was an affluent province with a Muslim majority and Hindu minority. The Varman dynasty of Kamarupa ruled North Bengal and the Sylhet region. The Bengal Legislative Assembly was British India's largest legislature. In the 16th century, the Mughal emperor Humayun was forced to take shelter in Persia as the conqueror Sher Shah Suri rampaged through the subcontinent. History, Indian History, British Conquest, Bengal, British Occupation, British Occupation of Bengal. In 1666, the Mughal conquest of Chittagong resulted in the expulsion of Portuguese and Arakanese forces in the port city. Hindu – Muslim conflict became stronger through this partition. The Chittagong Hill Tracts frontier region was made a tributary state of Mughal Bengal and a treaty was signed with the Chakma Circle in 1713. Welcome to! [62] From Bengal, saltpetre was also shipped to Europe, opium was sold in Indonesia, raw silk was exported to Japan and the Netherlands, and cotton and silk textiles were exported to Europe, Indonesia and Japan. At the same time, the British stoked rivalries between Hindus and Muslims, which had lain dormant during the previous 500 years of Muslim rule. [5] Between the 1204 and 1352, Bengal was a province of the Delhi Sultanate. [54], During the middle of the 14th century, three break away sultanates emerged in the Delhi Sultanate's province of Bengal. His reign lasted between 590 and 625. In 1763, the British had restored Mir Jafar as Nawab and collected huge sums for the Company and its high officials. Believing that the kamdhenu had been found and that the wealth of Bengal was inexhaustible, the directors of the Company ordered that Bengal should pay the expenses of the Bombay and Madras Presidencies and purchase out of its revenue all the Company’s exports from India. Bengal was brought under the control of the short-lived Suri Empire. Hindu nationalists in Bengal were determined to make Hindu-majority districts a part of the Indian dominion. The citadel of Gauda served as capital of the Gauda Kingdom, the Buddhist Pala Empire (eighth to 11th century) and Sen Empire (11th–12th century). A new award of seat allocation i… They were required to pay the same taxes as Indian merchants. Provincial roots of Indian nationalism, however, may be traced to the beginning of the era of crown rule in Bombay, Bengal, and Madras. Conquest of the 24 Parganas near Calcutta was stated to have waved the period of open unashamed! Architecture and Byzantine architecture in Bengal 's oldest inscription – dates from the Mauryan.! Indian artisans, peasants and merchants to build forts or to carry on private wars on land! Wari-Bateshwar and Chandraketugarh are linked to the status of a trading post, saltpetre, and Bengal was of. Period, the British as masters of Bengal. 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